Sadly, this week many of us heard of the passing of a truly great musician – jazz violin legend, John Blake Jr. Originally from South Philadelphia, I had the chance to work with John during the times of his first jazz album on the Gramavision label and can attest to the fact that he was that magical combination of talented artist, creative genius, exceptional teacher and genuinely good person.
Although John started his career as a sideman with major acts including Grover Washington Jr. and McCoy Tyner, his work soon put him on the musical map as a composer, arranger, performer and educator of the highest caliber. Repeated winner of Down Beat Critic’s and Reader’s Polls, few other artists could boast the type of praise that John received from fans, colleagues and educational institutions large and small, both inside the USA and around the world. If you have not yet had the chance to know this artist, visit his website to read about his impressive legacy or discover a video about his life and work.
The homepage of his artist webpage also bears this short and sad notice. Contact information is given here if you were a friend, colleague or admirer of his music, as so many were:
We regret to inform you of the Transition of our Beloved Husband, Father, Brother, Grandfather, Master Fiddler, Mentor and Friend to thousands of national and international admirers. The impact of his legacy is being reflected daily in the many communications of love we are receiving from you. THANK YOU!
Should you wish to contact the family please send an email to: Griotwoman@aol.com.
John Blake Jr., – Artist Website
Click on links to the right of the screen for any of the four videos:
John Blake, The Man, The Legend
A Celebration of Fiddle Music
A Note Of Hope Documentary Trailer
Performance at Berklee College of Music